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Published On: Thu, Dec 29th, 2016

Russian Investigators Consider Several Causes for Crash of Tu-154

nsnbc : Most of the most important wreckage including the two black boxes of the Tu-154 that crashed off the coast of Sochi has been recovered while only 15 bodies and 239 body fragments of the crash victims have been recovered from the seabed. Investigators pursue several possible cause for the fatal crash.

russia_sochi_tu-154-crash_dec-29-2016Sergey Bainetov, the leader of the commission investigating the crash of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Tu-154, told the press that investigators are considering seven plausible versions of the tragedy, including human error, technical malfunction, wind shift and bird collision.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Wednesday that four basic versions were considered: outside objects getting into an engine, inferior fuel, pilot error and a technical malfunction.

Bainetov said the pilot of the plane had logged about 4,000 hours, including 1,500 hours in a Tu-154. 600 of the 1,500 hours were reportedly logged in 2016.

The fateful flight from Sochi International Airport bound for the Hmeynim air base in Syria lasted only 70 seconds before the plane hit the Black Sea. Most of the debris was discovered no more than 1,5 kilometers from the coast, so the Tu-145 crashed about 3 – 4 kilometers after takeoff.

The maximum altitude we established on the basis of retrieved flight data was about 250 meters and speed, about 360-370 kilometers per hour,” Bainetov said. The low altitude and the low speed suggest that the plane probably was deemed to crash just seconds into the flight. Moreover, recovering a plane that for example stalls at such a low altitude is virtually impossible.

Eyewitnesses reported that the plane struck the surface of the water tail first. The commission expects to find the cause of the tragedy within a month, according to Bainetov. “In compliance with the rules of investigating air accidents and upon the availability of objective control materials and real evidence, it [this work] takes a month and therefore we expect to find the cause within a month,” he said.

“The process is going on and work has begun to lay out fragments as soon as fragments have started to arrive for the commission,” he said. At least ten days are needed to fully decipher the flight recorders of Tu-154 plane, he added.

CH/L – nsnbc 29.12.2016

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